Seattle City Council

Policing and homeless services are high profile items in Seattle's proposed budget. A program that helps drug users touches on both. Now, the fate of the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program is stirring up debate.

Through LEAD, police connect low level drug and prostitution suspects to community services, instead of arresting them.

Bill Radke speaks with City Councilmembers Tim Burgess and Mike O'Brien about proposed legislation that could allow camping on public lands within the city. 

Over the past several months, protesters have interrupted City Council discussions. Like on Sept. 19:

Councilmember Bruce Harrell: "You're giving me no choice but to adjourn the meeting and I don't want to do that, I want to hear from you."

The City of Seattle is breaking ties with Wells Fargo after revelations that the bank opened accounts nationwide without the knowledge of the account holders.

Seattle city leaders were considering taking out a $100 million loan from Wells Fargo to cover a Seattle City Light bond. In a letter Friday, city leaders say they're calling off the contract before it's finalized this month.

SPU reports that residents are confusing bags made out of recycled materials with bags that can be used for composting.
Courtesy of Seattle Public Utilities

Seattle will be the first city in the nation to take a citywide plastic bag ban to another level, and ban any plastic produce bags in the colors green or brown.  Seattle leaders want to help people who are composting wrong to finally get it right.

People have been throwing plastic produce bags in their compost, since they resemble the green/brown biodegradable bags meant for compost bins. Plastic bags jam up the city's composting machines, which are costly for the city to fix.

To prevent the problem, the City Council has unanimously approved a plan that requires grocery stores to limit what bags they give away. For produce, stores can either offer clear plastic bags, or green or brown compostable ones. The purpose is to tell shoppers: green and brown are compostable, other colors are not.

The city council measure alo makes the five-cent fee for paper bags permanent.

KUOW's Paige Browning asked shoppers on Capitol Hill: should Seattle offer compostable produce bags? Listen to what Seattle residents Sandra Wagner, Fatima Malik, Kevin Mason, and Anthony Hall had to say about it:

Judith Herrera and her son Carlos Reyes of Muy Macho restaurant in South Park
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Sometimes businesses that have been around forever disappear. That favorite dive bar or cheap restaurant closed to make way for a glitzy condo complex.

For a while, Seattle City Councilwomen Kshama Sawant and Lisa Herbold were trying to get rent control for businesses like that. But that idea didn’t fly. Now Herbold is exploring a backup plan.

Use a social media site in the last two years? Seattle police may have read your posts.

The police department has been using social media tracking software called Geofeedia, and they did so without the city's permission.

SPU reports that residents are confusing bags made out of recycled materials with bags that can be used for composting.
Courtesy of Seattle Public Utilities

Seattleites, you have been composting wrong.

Seattle Public Utilities says people often put produce bags in the compost bin, but not all of those bags are biodegradable. That messes up the city's composting machines, which are costly to fix. 

Bill Radke speaks with Subway franchisee owner David Jones about secure scheduling rules passed by the city of Seattle on Monday. Jones says the new rules will make things much harder for businesses like his. 

KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

Seattle’s City Council has passed a measure that will ensure workers' schedules are predictable. It’s the latest in a series of low wage worker protections the council has passed. There’s been the $15 minimum wage, paid sick leave, and restrictions on criminal background checks.

Bill Radke speaks with Josh Feit about the behind the scenes politics of the City Council vote on a new secure scheduling law. Feit is the politics editor at Seattle Met and editor of their local politics blog PubliCola. 

From left, Zaki Hamid, Eli Sanders, Ijeoma Oluo and Bill Radke.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has announced that the plans for the new North Precinct building will be put on hold. He says the city needs to consider the cost of the building and impact it will have on communities of color. What should happen as the city re-draws the plan?                

Seattle is one step away from adding worker scheduling rules to its workplace laws. A City Council committee unanimously approved secure scheduling legislation Tuesday, forwarding it to a full council vote next Monday.

City of Seattle

The University District is gonna be HUGE. We’re talking towers – up to 32 stories tall in some places – where right now there are just one and two story buildings.

Officials say the neighborhood has more room to grow than Capitol Hill, because of all the parking lots in the U-District.

Gabe Galanda is an attorney specializing in Native American law
KUOW Photo/Caroline Chamberlain

Bill Radke sits down with Seattle-based lawyer Gabe Galanda to talk about the protests surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. Galanda opposes the pipeline and joined the protests in North Dakota earlier this month.

He also helped draft a resolution in opposition to construction of the pipeline that was introduced at a Seattle City Council meeting Monday.